Dunfermline 0 Raith Rovers 0Tuesday, 4th May 2021
Premiership Quarter Final Play Off First Leg:
After finishing fourth and third respectively in the Scottish Championship Dunfermline and Raith Rovers had to play off over two legs for the opportunity to take on Dundee and hopefully progress from there to meet the team finishing in eleventh placed side in the Premiership.
Stevie Crawford made five changes from the side that lost to Alloa Athletic in the last Championship match. Owain Fôn Williams, Aaron Comrie, Steven Whittaker: Dom Thomas and Craig Wighton all returned to the starting eleven.
Iain Davidson who was red carded in Friday night’s home match against Hearts was in the starting eleven thanks to an appeal. Manager John McGlynn made two changes Fernandy Mendy and Adam King making way for Ross Matthews and Kai Kennedy.
If it wasn’t for covid restrictions East End Park would have been booming in anticipation of a match of great significance to both clubs. Instead Blondie with Atomic powered the low volume build up. Raith emerged from beneath the East Stand and Dunfermline and match officials were led out by Euan Murray as Into the Valley kicked off.
Lewis Vaughan and Regan Hendry got the match underway attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end. Early play was predominantly towards Fôn Williams goal and the Pars had to defend the match’s first corner in seventh minute.
Raith keeper Jamie MacDonald’s first touch was taking an eighth minute goal kick after Dom Thomas’ free kick, flighted in from the right fell to Whittaker but his effort from the edge of the box went wide left.
Dunfermline’s first corner came in eleven minutes after Wighton was denied a shot and this ended with another left footed volley from Whittaker that landed on the roof of the net.
The home side had certainly be roused and when Wighton laid the back for Kevin O’Hara it required a Kyle Benedictus block to deny him. Next Whittaker put in a cross from the right that Davidson headed away. Then in 18th minute Macdonald made a great save to tip an O’Hara shot around his right hand post. The chance came from a superb pass by Thomas.
Three minutes later a square pass from Whittaker found Ewan Henderson and he spread the ball left for the overlapping Josh Edwards. His cut back was perfect for Wighton but his shot hit the keeper’s towel on the wrong side of the left goalpost.
The Pars continued to press and there were a couple of crosses for the Rovers defence to deal with. Whittaker collected a yellow card in conceding a free kick 40 yards out and when Brad Spencer lofted that into the home box the referee blew up for a foul on Paul Watson.
In 28 minutes Declan McManus fired wide after O’Hara had fed Wighton the chance to set up his no.10 in front of goal. Next minute Henderson tried a shot from 25 yards that brought another good save out of the Rovers keeper.
Two Rovers corners in 34th minute were successfully defended but after a soaring run by Kieran Macdonald, Kennedy sent over an inviting ball from the right that Vaughan just couldn’t get up to. Four minutes later Wighton created more danger to force a corner on the left but Rovers dealt with that.
The half was to end with further half chances for Wighton and O’Hara and then in 45th minute a better chance for Wighton was dispatched over the bar.
Half time arrived with the home side lamenting there being no goals. They had managed eight shots to the Rovers one and the visitors were indebted to their keeper for the scoreline at the break.
Half time: Dunfermline 0 Raith Rovers 0
The home side restarted strongly playing some great football but it was Macdonald who sent a 48th minute attempt over the Dunfermline crossbar. Kennedy’s shot four minutes later was bravely blocked by Watson and on the break O’Hara took the game to the other end where Thomas got in an on target effort but that was held by Macdonald.
A great opportunity then ran for McManus in 58 minutes as he caught up with the ball on the left byeline and forced Macdonald to palm the ball away. Chances kept coming with Wighton teeing Henderson up for an effort from 25 yards that just cleared the Rovers crossbar.
A Thomas cross was then headed over the same bar by Davidson. Spencer headed the first corner away for another but Rovers survived as the ball was played around their box. Back came the visitors with Spencer feeding Vaughan a chance that Fôn Williams palmed behind. Hendry whipped the ball from the corner on the right for Benedictus at the far post but he headed wide.
Watson brilliantly headed away a Reghan Tumilty cross to earn Raith a 71st minute corner, another followed after Murray had headed behind and the Pars cleared the next. Kerr McInroy then became the first substitute of the evening replacing Declan McManus in 73rd minute.
With ten minutes remaining Dom Thomas was subbed by Scott Banks and then Rovers brought on Adam King for the injured Matthews.
O’Hara next sent Wighton away up the right but he could only win a thrown in. The game grew increasingly open and when Henderson’s shot from the edge of the box was charged down Wighton had a chance from the break but sent his attempt low and wide right.
With Manny Duku and Gozie Ugwu late subs there was a threat from a 90th minute corner but the Pars got that away and O’Hara would get a great opportunity from a Henderson delivery from the left but couldn’t connect.
Banks had one final chance in the second minute of added time but the keeper held and it finished all square. So on to Saturday for the second leg with the Kirkcaldy side possibly the more content with the clean slate.
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Vytas Gašpuitis, Lewis McCann, Lewis Mayo, Cammy Gill (GK)
YELLOW CARD: Whittaker (26)
RAITH ROVERS: Jamie Macdonald: Reghan Tumilty, Iain Davidson, Kyle Benedictus (c), Kieran Macdonald: Ross Matthews (Adam King 82), Regan Hendry, Brad Spencer, Kai Kennedy: Lewis Vaughan (Manny Duku 85), Jamie Gullan (Gozie Ugwu 87)
SUBS NOT USED: Fernandy Mendy, Nathan Cooney, Dan Armstrong, Robbie Thomson (GK)
REFEREE: Steven Kirkland
WEATHER: Cold Dry 10°C
NEXT MATCH: Premiership Quarter Final Play Off Second Leg (away) v Raith Rovers. Saturday 9th May 2021, kick off 3.00pm
50/50 Draw - Number 100014893 won £203
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Dunfermline 0-0 Raith Rovers
Tue, 4th May 2021
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Preview Raith RoversTuesday, 4th May 2021
Premiership Play Off Quarter Final, First Leg, Tuesday 4th May 2021, kick off 7.00pm behind closed doors
Dunfermline will be hoping it is a case of third time lucky. On the two previous occasions when they have been involved in top flight play offs they went out in 1995 to Aberdeen and in 2018 to Dundee United. While Aberdeen won both play offs, the Pars came closer second time around losing 2-1 on aggregate after a goalless draw at East End Park in the first leg.
Matches against Raith are always fiercely contested and this season on the Kirkcaldy side’s return to the Championship there have been one win apiece and one draw. It total the clubs have met 119 times, Dunfermline winning 50 and Raith 42. In knock out situations the teams have met ten times with the Pars progressing in six of them.
In total at home Dunfermline have won 28 of their 60 matches against Raith, the visitors winning 22 and ten drawn.
Milestones v Raith Rovers (home)
Last Home Victory | 03/02/21 | 3-1 | Championship
Last Home Defeat | 20/08/13 | 0-2 | Ramsden Cup
Best Home Victory | 08/09/62 | 6-0 | Division One (old)
Best Home Victory | 01/01/68 | 6-0 | Division One (old)
Worst Home Defeat | 19/11/27 | 0-4 | Division One (old)
Last Goalless Home Draw | 05/11/16 | 0-0 | Championship
First Ever Home Meeting | 10/02/23 | 0-3 | Scottish Cup
Last time at East End Park
Wednesday 3rd February 2021, Championship
Dunfermline 4 Raith Rovers 1
Dunfermline 4-1 Raith Rovers
Wed, 3rd Feb 2021
The first half was a fairly even affair but in 44 minutes a bit of inspiration from Ryan Dow picking out Iain Wilson who then from inside his own half, spread a fine pass up the right channel for Declan McMANUS to ultimately find the net with a good right footed strike that beat the keeper at the near side. 1-0
Sweet and sour followed six minutes into the second 45. Ryan Dow went down in the centre circle with sever injury as COMRIE intercepted a Musonda pass and broke away up the right to pick his shot. The ball whacked the left post and landed in the right side of the Raith net. The goal really was something to celebrate on the full back’s 24th birthday. 2-0
Raith’s Brad SPENCER sent a fine shot from 30 yards out to hit the left side of the Pars net to make it 2-1 in 64 minutes but the home side would hit back within two minutes.
When Banks was fouled 25 yards out just right of centre Fraser MURRAY dispatched a great effort from the free kick over the four man wall to enter the opposition net off the underside of the crossbar. 3-1
Pars struck again with yet another brilliant Fraser MURRAY strike. The scorer cut in from the left and crashed a great 87th minute shot that deflected off Davidson into the net. 4-1.
DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c)(Steven Whittaker 90), Josh Edwards: Lewis Mayo, Iain Wilson: Scott Banks (Kerr McInroy, 75), Ryan Dow (Kevin O’Hara 56), Fraser Murray: Declan McManus.
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis McCann, Kyle Macdonald, Kyle Turner, Cammy Gill (GK)
RAITH ROVERS: Jamie Macdonald: Reghan Tumilty, Frankie Musonda, Iain Davidson (c), Kieran Macdonald: Daniel Armstrong (Manny Duku 83), Brad Spencer, Dylan Tait (Adam King 56), Kai Kennedy: Lewis Vaughan (Jamie Gullan HT): Timmy Abraham.
SUBS NOT USED: Fernandy Meney, Jack Smith, Quinn Coulson, Robbie Thomson (GK)
Last Twelve Meetings
Dunfermline have won five of the last twelve meetings, lost four and three have been drawn.
27/03/21 | A | Raith Rovers 5 Dunfermline 1 | | L | Championship
03/02/21 | H | Dunfermline 4 Raith Rovers 1 | W | Championship
05/12/20 | A | Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 2 | D | Championship
19/01/19 | A | Raith Rovers 3 Dunfermline 0 | L | Scottish Cup
08/04/17 | H | Dunfermline 1 Raith Rovers 0| W | Championship
02/01/17 | A | Raith Rovers 0 Dunfermline 2 | W | Championship
05/12/16 | H | Dunfermline 0 Raith Rovers 0 | D | Championship
20/08/16 | A | Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 0 | L | Championship
05/08/14 | H | Dunfermline 1 Raith Rovers 0 | W | Challenge Cup
20/08/13 | H | Dunfermline 0 Raith Rovers 2 | L | Challenge Cup
16/03/13 | A | Raith Rovers 1 Dunfermline 1 | D | Division One
02/01/13 | H | Dunfermline 1 Raith Rovers 0 | W | Division One
Alloa Athletic (A) L 0-1
Arbroath (H) W 4-3
Queen of the South (H) W 3-1
Dundee ( H) D 0-0
Ayr United (A) D 1-1
Hearts (H) D 0-0
Hearts (H) L 0-4
Dundee (A) L 1-2
Alloa Athletic (A) W 2-1
Queen of the South (A) W 1-0
Arbroath (H) D 2-2
Livingston (A) L 1-2
Current League Stats
Dunfermline’s home form this Championship season was only bettered by title winners Hearts.
Raith Rovers away form this Championship season was only bettered by title winners Hearts (by one point).
League Position: 4th
League Points: 39
Goal Difference: +4
Home League Record: P14 W9 D3 L2 GF24 GA13
Last Six Match Form: DDDWWL
League Position: 3rd
League Points: 43
Goal Difference: +9
Away League Record: P14 W6 D4 L4 GF21 GA18
Last Six Match Form: DDWWLL
Last Time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Alloa Athletic): Cammy Gill: Kyle Macdonald, Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c) (Lewis Mayo 62), Josh Edwards: Paul Allan: Kerr McInroy, Declan McManus (Craig Wighton 72), Ewan Henderson (Scott Banks 64): Lewis McCann, Kevin O’Hara.
SUBS NOT USED: Aaron Comrie, Vytas Gašpuitis, Matthew Todd, Owain Fôn Williams (GK)
RAITH ROVERS (v Hearts): Jamie Macdonald: Reghan Tumilty, Fernandy Mendy (Daniel Armstrong 45), Kyle Benedictus, Kieran Macdonald: Iain Davidson, Regan Hendry, Brad Spencer, Adam King, Lewis Vaughan (Nathan Cooney 60), Jamie Gullan (Gozie Ugwu 66)
SUBS NOT USED: Manny Duku, Timmy Abraham,, Kai Kennedy, Robbie Thomson (GK)
Referee will be Steven Kirkland who has officiated two previous Pars matches this season - the wins over Arbroath and Morton.
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